Create Recurring Notifications for Patients and Families

When you need to contact patients and families, the fastest way is to send Broadcast Messages (Video, Article) in PCC EHR.

You can also use the Patient Notification Center (notify) to set up recurring or one-time notifications. PCC can deliver messages to your patients automatically through our partnership with TeleVox (Intrado), either by phone call, text message, or e-mail.

The Patient Notification Center supports appointment reminders, “Due for a Visit” notifications, and account balance notifications. For example, you can create a notification that automatically contacts patients three days before their appointment and tells them the date, time, location and physician (optionally) of the appointment. Or, you could create a set of criteria for physicals or other visit types and automatically remind patients to call and schedule an appointment. Finally, you can send a balance notification to all families with certain aged balances.

Use Broadcast Messaging as Alternative: Instead or in addition to the notification features in PCC described below, your practice could use Broadcast Messaging from any patient-based report in PCC EHR’s Report Library. Broadcast Messaging’s search and filter capabilities are similar to the recaller tools used for patient notification, but they are designed around single notifications.

Read the sections below to learn about the Patient Notification Center (notify).

Get Started

Contact PCC Sales to get started. The Patient Notification Center uses a TeleVox (Intrado) interface, which requires a setup fee and per-contact fees. Our sales and support teams can help you understand the features, the cost, and help you decide if it is a good match for your needs. Next, we’ll register you with TeleVox (also known as Intrado).

Once you are signed up, PCC Support will work with you to configure your Partner system for the Patient Notification Center. We’ll help you pick options, such as preferred languages.

Finally, you’ll use the Patient Notification Center (notify) program to schedule your notifications and select criteria and options for notification messages.

What Do Notification Messages Sound or Look Like?

Phone Calls

Here are the voice messages for various notification types. These messages are created by TeleVox and are not customizable.

Appointment Reminder w/ Clinician’s Name Hello. This is the office of Dr. James Smith at Pediatric Associates calling to remind Johnny of an appointment at 9:00am on May 15th, 2012.
Appointment Reminder w/o Clinician’s Name Hello. This is Pediatric Associates calling to remind Johnny of an appointment at 9:00am on May 15th, 2012.
Due For a Visit Notification w/ Recall Reason Hello, this is Pediatric Associates calling with a reminder that Johnny is due for a <recall reason>. Please call us at 800-722-1082 to schedule an appointment. We look forward to hearing from you soon
Due For a Visit Notification w/o Recall Reason Hello, this is Pediatric Associates calling with a reminder that Johnny is due for a visit. Please call us at 800-722-1082 to schedule an appointment. We look forward to hearing from you soon
Account Balance Notification Hello this is Pediatric Associates calling. Our records indicate that your account is more than 60 days overdue. Please call our office at 800-722-1082 to arrange payment today. Thank you!

Responding to a Phone Reminder: If a person answers the phone and hears the message live, they will have an opportunity to press numbers to confirm the appointment, repeat the message, or cancel the appointment. If an answering machine or voicemail answers the phone, an additional message will play instead: “If you need to cancel or reschedule this appointment, please call us during normal business hours at 800-722-1082.” 

E-Mails

When the patient has indicated they would prefer e-mail communication, or your notification is configured for e-mail delivery, this is the e-mail template for an appointment reminder:

Responding to an E-Mail Reminder: E-mail reminders include a confirmation button. There is no cancelation option for e-mails at this time; families will need to call the office to cancel a scheduled appointment. 

The e-mail template for a Due for a Visit notification differs slightly.

The e-mail template for an account balance notification is similar:

Practice Location: If you have more than one location, you can indicate a different practice phone number in the body of the message. You can only show one official practice address on the right-hand panel, however, unless you have more than one TeleVox account. If you need to show different addresses, work with PCC Support to discuss your options.

Text Messages

When the patient has indicated they would prefer text message communication, or your notification is configured for text message delivery, this is the standard text message for an appointment reminder:

Responding to a Text Reminder: Text messages include an option for the recipient to text back and confirm or cancel the appointment. 

A “Due for a Visit” notification would read, “Pediatric Associates: Johnny is due for a Well Visit. Please contact us at 800-722-1082 to schedule an appt.”

Which Notification Delivery Method is Used?

When your notification is processed, Partner uses TeleVox to contact your patients by phone, e-mail, or text message. How does it know which delivery method to use?

Default Settings

By default, Partner looks for a patient confidential communication preference. If the patient’s preference is set to “No Preference”, then Partner will use the first available phone number in the Custodian account. This default delivery method behavior can be defined in the Patient Notification Center section of the Configuration Editor (ced).

Your office can collect a patient’s phone, e-mail, or text message preference in the Confidential Communication Preference section of Patient Checkin (checkin), the Patient Editor (notjane), or the Demographics section of the patient’s chart in PCC EHR.

Custom Delivery Method

When you create or edit a notification, you can also specify the preferred and alternate delivery methods. For example, you could tell Partner to send TeleVox instructions to text message the Custodian’s cell phone number, if available, and otherwise to call the home number.

Notification Features and Options

Once your registration is complete and PCC Support has activated the features on your system, you are ready to create your first patient notification.

General Options

  • One-Time, or Recurring?: If you wish, you can use the Patient Notification Center to create a single, one-time notification to patients, based on their upcoming visits. Or, you can design a recurring, “always active” notification.

    Most offices interested in using notifications for appointment reminders will want to create a recurring, daily notification. Then, all patients who meet your criteria and have upcoming appointments will receive a reminder. If an appointment reminder is not recurring or not daily, some patients will not receive reminders.

    Recurring Notifications Must Expire: When your practice creates a recurring notification, you must enter an expiration date for that notification. You can set the date to several years or months into the future. You can edit and extend the expiration date at any time. When your recurring notification is about to expire, your PCC system will send an e-mail message to the admin user on your system. On the last day before a notification expires, your system will also open a support sheet with your PCC account team. Contact PCC Support for help configuring your practice’s admin user.

  • What Patients to Include?: You can limit appointment notifications to certain visit reasons, physicians, or other criteria. For example, you may decide to only send reminders for Well visits, because missed Well visits are more costly and disruptive to your practice’s schedule. Or, you may want to send appointment reminders for some physicians but not for others.

  • What Patients to Exclude?: When you create some notifications, you can indicate which patient or account status flags should cause the patient to be excluded from receiving notification messages. For appointment notifications, for example, the notify program will automatically suggest you exclude based on flags that are already configured to indicate an inactive patient, but you can select or deselect any flag in order to control who receives notification messages. Read Exclude Patients from Recaller and Notify to learn more.

  • What Delivery Methods to Use?: As described above and in the how-to procedures, you can specify the preferred delivery method (e-mail, phone, or text message) and the preferred data source (custodian account, guarantor account, patient account), for each notification.

Appointment Reminder Options

What kind of appointment reminders do you wish to send? Before you jump in, your office should consider the following useful options and work with your Client Advocate to configure your settings appropriately.

  • Note: All appointment reminders include the date, time, and location of the appointment. You can elect to include or exclude the scheduled physician’s name in the reminder.

  • How Early to Remind?: When creating an appointment reminder notification, you can decide how many days in advance to send appointment notification reminders to the patients.

Cancellation and Confirm Features Between the Appointment Book and PCC’s Notify Service

When you use PCC’s Notify service to send families notifications about upcoming appointments, your practice can optionally allow the family to cancel their appointment from the notification phone call, email or text message.

You have two ways of handling cancellation responses from families:

  • Your practice can review a report of which families canceled appointments and then manually cancel them in the Appointment Book (or call the family to reschedule).
  • Or your practice can configure PCC so that an appointment will be cancelled when the family selects the cancel option or texts “No” to the confirmation message. When a family cancels an appointment, that slot will be available for your practice to schedule right away in PCC, without any intervention.

To review these options and optimize how PCC’s Notify service works with your PCC Appointment Book, get in touch with your Client Advocate.

“Due for a Visit” Options

  • Include the Recall Reason, or Not?: Your Due for a Visit notification can include a recall reason, such as “Well Visit”, or not. Recall Reasons are a pre-defined list designed by PCC and TeleVox to preserve patient confidentiality:

    • Well Visit
    • Follow Up Visit
    • Medication Check
    • Vaccination
    • Flu Vaccination
  • Recall Criteria: The Patient Notification Center uses the same criteria options as the Patient Recaller. When creating a Due for a Visit notification, you can remove patients who already have a scheduled appointment, limit the age range, or divide recalls up by primary care physician, geographical region, or other criteria.

Account Balance Options

  • What Balance Range Triggers a Notification?: Your Account Balance notification can be limited to balances over $5.00, for example, or any amount you specify.

  • What Aging Categories?: Will you send notifications as soon as balances are more than 30 days overdue, or wait for 60? 90? The Patient Notification Center uses the same criteria options as the Patient Recaller. When creating a Due for a Visit notification, you can remove patients who already have a scheduled appointment, limit the age range, or divide recalls up by primary care physician, geographical region, or other criteria.

  • Restrict By Flag: You can use account status flags to ensure that certain accounts do not receive notifications, or set up a specialized notification that is only sent to accounts with certain status flags..

After considering the above details, you are ready to create a notification.

Read the step-by-step Create an Appointment Reminder Notification or Create a “Due for a Visit” Notification guides to learn about the notify program and create a notification.

Other Considerations and Useful Options


How Does a Family Opt Out?: Based on your notification criteria, notify calls or texts all families who have provided a contact number. If a family member does not wish to receive messages to their cell phone, they can opt out at any time by sending STOP to 622-622. They will always get a welcome message with instructions about how to opt out before they receive their first reminder. If someone accidentally “stops” receiving messages from your practice and wants to start receiving them again, they can simply send your practice’s ORGKEY to 622-622 to opt back in.

Warning: Switching Phone Carriers Requires Family to Opt Back In: If a patient or parent changes to a different phone carrier, their number will no longer be recognized by notify. While only the cell user knows when they make a carrier change, you will see a line in your error messaging reports stating that their text was undelivered due to a carrier error. To opt back in, the family can simply text your practice’s ORGKEY to 622-622.

Written Consent to Call or Text: Under the FCC TCPA regulations, there are some legal considerations with regard to calls or texts sent to a cell phone using an autodialer (like notify). Because the legal details can be tricky to follow and open to legal interpretation, PCC recommends that your practice gets written consent to call or text. An easy way to do this would be to add a small blurb to your practice’s policy or demographic form. For more information and sample text, read Best Practices for Use of Automated Communications. You may also wish to consult your practice’s legal counsel, as PCC can not provide legal advice.

Family Messaging Options: The Patient Notification Center can use TeleVox to automatically delivery reminder messages to all patients with scheduled appointments. But if a family has more than one sibling scheduled for an appointment on the same day, they might receive two messages in a row to the same phone number. Optionally, you can call PCC Support and ask for the “Family Messaging” option. We will adjust TeleVox settings so families will only get one message a day, a reminder for the first patient. All other patients with appointments later that day for that family will not receive a reminder.

New Clinicians?: When you add a new physician or other scheduling provider to your practice, be sure and contact PCC Support so they can be added to your configuration for the Patient Notification Center.

Area Codes are Required: For telephone notifications to work, the numbers in your patient and family records must be 10 digits long. If an account only lists a seven-digit phone number, the Patient Notification Center will not send the information to Televox.

Note: The patient’s confidential communication preference is the first default delivery method. If a patient has a mailing address or invalid entry listed, Partner will honor that request and TeleVox will not deliver the notification to any alternate delivery method. If the patient has “no preference” selected, Partner will use any available alternate delivery method configured for each notification. You can override this behavior by configuring a notification so that it goes directly to a guarantor or custodian delivery method, or you can change your practice’s defaults in the Patient Notification Center section of the Configuration Editor (ced).

FCC Auto-Call Guidelines: There must be an appointment or other clinical reason to contact a patient. You can not use auto-call features or the Patient Notification Center for marketing purposes.

Create an Appointment Reminder Notification

Follow the procedure below to create or edit an Appointment Reminder notification in the Patient Notification Center (notify).

Before You Start: Before working with notifications, read the above sections. The notify program requires registration and configuration before you can create a notification.

Run notify

You can run the Patient Notification Center by typing notify at a command prompt. PCC Support can also add the program to your Partner windows.

Review Your Notifications

The first screen of notify displays all of your current, active notifications.

You can see each notification’s name, a summary of the notification type, when the contact will go out next, whether the notification is recurring or one-time, and when the notification will expire.

Old Notifications?: Press F4Make Inactive to expire a notification and turn it off. You can also press F6View Inactive to jump to a list of inactive, or past notifications. You could then edit an inactive notification, change details using the tools described below, and make it active again.

Press [F1 – Add Notification]

Press F1 to create a new notification.

If you wish to edit an existing notification, select it and press F2.

Select an Appointment Reminder Message Type

Enter an asterisk (*) and choose a message type from the pull-down menu.

You can choose to send appointment notifications with or without the physician’s name.

After selecting a message type, you will see a summary of the message’s contents.

Press F1 to continue.

Select How Far in Advance to Notify

How far in advance of a patient’s appointment should the reminder be sent? Enter a number of days.

Press F1 to continue.

Select Visit Reasons

Should all well visit reasons receive this notification? What about sick visits, or rechecks? Select all the visit reasons that should trigger the appointment reminder you are creating.

You can also press F3Select All, and then use F2 to deselect visit reasons that should be excluded.

Press F1 to continue.

Specify Physicians

Select all physicians whose scheduled patients should receive reminders.

You can press F3Select All, and then use F2 to deselect physicians who’s appointments should be excluded.

Press F1 to continue.

Note: Partner uses the scheduled physician for the appointment. You can also limit by primary care physician later on in the steps below.

Select Scheduling Locations

Select all scheduling locations for appointments that should receive reminders.

Press F1 to continue.

Exclude by Patient Status Flag

Select any patient flags that should block a reminder from being sent to the patient.

Any flags that are already configured to exclude patients from reports will already be selected for you. You can select or deselect any status flag to control who will not receive notification messages. Read Exclude Patients from Recaller and Notify to learn more.

Press F1 to continue.

Optional: Add Additional Criteria

If you would like to limit your reminder list by primary care physician, insurance plan, a billed diagnosis, an account flag, or some other criteria, use the asterisk to select that criteria and then press F1 to define it.

If you do not need additional criteria, press F1 to continue.

Indicate One-Time or Recurring Notification

Select whether this notification is a one-time notification or a recurring notification, and then choose related delivery options.

If you select a One-Time Patient Notification, enter an exact date and a time of day for the notification. Note that TeleVox needs at least a three-hour advance warning and a three-hour window for delivery. Therefore, create your notification early in the day if you wish to send it on the same date.

If you select Recurring Patient Notifications, you can set the notification to be daily, weekly, or yearly, and enter start and end dates for activating the notification.

Appointment Reminders Should Recur, and Recur Daily: Most offices interested in using notifications for appointment reminders will want to create a recurring, daily notification. Then, all patients who meet your criteria and have upcoming appointments will receive a reminder. If an appointment reminder is not recurring or not daily, some patients will not receive reminders.

Recurring Notifications Must Expire: When your practice creates a recurring notification, you must enter an expiration date for that notification. You can set the date to several years or months into the future. You can edit and extend the expiration date at any time. When your recurring notification is about to expire, your PCC system will send an e-mail message to the admin user on your system. On the last day before a notification expires, your system will also open a support sheet with your PCC account team. Contact PCC Support for help configuring your practice’s admin user.

Optional: Specify Delivery Method

Next, you can specify the preferred delivery method for the notification.

Enter up to four possible delivery methods. Partner will send the first valid method it finds to TeleVox.

By default, Partner looks for a patient confidential communication preference. If the patient’s preference is set to “No Preference”, then Partner will use the first available phone number in the Custodian account. This default delivery method behavior can be defined in the Patient Notification Center section of the Configuration Editor (ced).

Review Details

Review the details for your notification.

The details include an estimated number of contacts made. This estimate may or may not be useful when you create recurring notifications, as unusual circumstances or your office’s schedule might make the numbers seem low.

Press F1 to continue, or F8 to step back through notification settings.

Name Your Notification

Give your notification a name.

For ease of use later, you may want to name your notification based on its criteria. For example, your “Well Visit” or “Asthma Recheck” reminder.

Press F1 to save your new notification and return to the main screen.

Optional: Review and Edit Your Notification, or Make it Inactive

From the main screen, select your notification and press F2Edit to make changes.

You can also press F4Make Inactive to deactivate your reminder, or F5Review Details to look at the settings and options for a notification.

Create a “Due for a Visit” Notification

Follow the procedure below to create or edit a “Due for a Visit” notification in the Patient Notification Center (notify).

Before You Start: Before working with notifications, read the above sections. The notify program requires registration and configuration before you can create a notification.

Run notify

You can run the Patient Notification Center by typing notify at a command prompt. PCC Support can also add the program to your Partner windows.

Review Your Notifications

The first screen of notify displays all of your current, active notifications.

You can see each notification’s name, a summary of the notification type, when the contact will go out next, whether the notification is recurring or one-time, and when the notification will expire.

Old Notifications?: Press F4Make Inactive to expire a notification and turn it off. You can also press F6View Inactive to jump to a list of inactive, or past notifications. You could then edit an inactive notification, change details using the tools described below, and make it active again.

Press [F1 – Add Notification]

Press F1 to create a new notification.

If you wish to edit an existing notification, select it and press F2.

Select a “Due for a Visit” Message Type

Enter an asterisk (*) and choose a message type from the pull-down menu.

You can choose to deliver “Due for a Visit” notifications with or without the recall reason (well visit, etc.).

After selecting a message type, you will see a summary of the message’s contents.

Press F1 to continue.

Select Location Phone and Recall Reason

Choose an office phone number and a recall reason from the two pull-down menus.

Press F1 to continue.

Scheduling Locations, Recall Reasons: Available location phone numbers are based on your practice’s place-of-service configuration in the Table Editor (ted). The recall reasons are a pre-defined list of available reason types, as designed by PCC and TeleVox to preserve patient confidentiality:

  • Well Visit
  • Follow Up Visit
  • Medication Check
  • Vaccination
  • Flu Vaccination

Exclude by Patient Status Flag

Select any patient flags that should block this “Due for a Visit” reminder from being sent to the patient.

Any flags that are already configured to exclude patients from reports will already be selected for you. You can select or deselect any status flag to control who will not receive notification messages. Read Exclude Patients from Recaller and Notify to learn more.

Press F1 to continue.

Add Additional Recall Criteria

Enter an asterisk and select additional criteria to shape the perfect patient recall for the recall reason you have selected.

For each criteria you select, the Patient Notification Center will guide you through a series of questions. Make your selection and press F1 to step through each option.

PCC's Recommended Well Child Recall: Your office can work with the available criteria to create and save the perfect recurring “Due for a Well Child” notification. PCC typically recommends the following criteria.

  • Include by Date of Physical Due: By including all patients whose next physical is due in the next month, or was due in the past two years, your notification will go out to all patients who need a physical according to your records.

  • Include by Date of Last Visit: Including by date of last visit for the past three years is a handy way to leave out patients who have not visited your practice in a long time and should be considered inactive for the purposes of patient recall.

  • Exclude by Appointment (All Providers): If a patient has an upcoming appointment with any provider, you don’t want to auto-call them with a reminder to schedule an appointment.

  • Exclude by Flag - Account Flag: The Patient Notification Center automatically guides you through excluding by patient flags, but you may have account flags that should also cause the patients to be left off the contact list.

  • Your Custom Criteria: In addition to the ideas above, you may choose to limit this specific Due for a Visit notification to certain geographical locations (by zip code), primary care physician, or other criteria.

For help understanding how to enter these criteria, read the Recall Patients for Physicals article.

Indicate One-Time or Recurring Notification

Select whether this notification is a one-time notification or a recurring notification, and then choose related delivery options.

If you select a One-Time Patient Notification, enter an exact date and a time of day for the notification. Note that TeleVox needs at least a three-hour advance warning and a three-hour window for delivery. Therefore, create your notification early in the day if you wish to send it on the same date.

If you select Recurring Patient Notifications, you can set the notification to be daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly, and then enter start and end dates for activating the notification. In the example above, my practice has decided to send the notification monthly.

Recurring Due for a Visit Reminders vs. One-time: If your office only performs a major “Due for a Visit” recall once or twice a year for physicals, flu shots, or another visit reason, then the “One-time” option may meet your needs.

However, if you set up a monthly recurring reminder, you can be certain that all patients will receive a reminder to call and schedule a physical. If you use PCC’s recommended Well Child recall criteria and a monthly recurring reminder, for example, patients will receive a reminder once a month until they schedule a checkup or request they no longer be contacted. (You can remove patients from the notification contact list using a custom patient or account flag and including that flag in the exclude-by-flag criteria.)

Optional: Specify Delivery Method

Next, you can specify the preferred delivery method for the notification.

Enter up to four possible delivery methods. Partner will send the first valid method it finds to TeleVox.

By default, Partner looks for a patient confidential communication preference. If the patient’s preference is set to “No Preference”, then Partner will use the first available phone number in the Custodian account. This default delivery method behavior can be defined in the Patient Notification Center section of the Configuration Editor (ced).

Review Details

Review the details for your notification.

The details include an estimated number of patient and family contacts. This estimate may or may not be useful when you create recurring notifications, as unusual circumstances or your office’s schedule might make the numbers low.

Press F1 to continue, or F8 to step back through notification settings.

Name Your Notification

Give your notification a name.

For ease of use later, you may want to name your notification based on its criteria. For example, your “Well Child” or “Fall Flu Clinic” recall.

Press F1 to save your new notification and return to the main screen.

Optional: Review and Edit Your Notification, or Make it Inactive

From the main screen, select your notification and press F2Edit to make changes.

You can also press F4Make Inactive to deactivate your reminder, or F5Review Details to look at the settings and options for a notification.

Review the Notification Log and Canceled Appointments

Your PCC system records details whenever the Patient Notification Center prepares and sends a batch of patient notifications. If you use patient response features, PCC also logs whether the patient confirmed or canceled the appointment when they received the notification.

Use notify‘s Activity Log (notifylog) to review your practice’s log of notifications, research why a notification was not sent, review any responses to appointment notifications, and see a list of all notifications for a specific patient or family.

Press F8View Log from within the Patient Notification Center, or type notifylog at a command prompt, to view the Activity Log.


The Activity Log displays a list of every time PCC prepared and sent notifications, sorted by date. You can quickly see all of the notification batches that were sent successfully, and review how many patient notifications were sent or not sent to the TeleVox system.

Review the Log and Status Results

Use the arrow keys to select a notification and press F1Show Messages to review the status of each message inside the notification batch.


Messages are sorted into delivery categories, such as “Phone Messages” and “E-Mail Messages”.

Within each category, cancelations always appear first, at the top, followed by notifications that were delivered or have other statuses, such as “Delivered – Answered and Hung Up”.

Review Responses for a Specific Patient or Account

You can use the Patient or Account search features in notifylog to quickly find all responses for a particular family or patient. Open notify log and press F6Patient Search or F7Account Search.

After finding a patient or account, you can see all notifications and any confirmations or other responses.

If a patient doesn’t show up for an appointment, for example, you could use the search tools to see if they received or responded to a notification.

Review Notification Details

Select a notification and press F3Review Details to review the settings of the notification. If you are unsure why certain patients were or were not included in the notification, it may help to review those settings.

Automatic Cancelation

PCC can automatically cancel a patient’s appointment whenever a cancelation is received.

A question in the Patient Notification Center section of the Configuration Editor (ced) asks if you want to “Automatically mark appointments canceled when patients choose the option to cancel from their Appointment Reminder Message.”

If that question is set to “Yes”, your patients and families can use their phone or a text message to cancel their appointments. Those responses will also be displayed in notifylog. In the appointment’s history, you will see “Canceled on ##/##/## by pcc”.

Work With Cancelations

If your practice uses the old-school SAM scheduler, you can work with a list of cancelations. Select a notification and press F2Work w/ Cancels to view all cancelations that came from that notification.


You can work down the list, and press F1Inquire to jump into inquire and reschedule or revise the patient’s schedule. If your office allows patients and families to automatically cancel their appointment, you can use the list to review and confirm those cancelations.

  • Last modified: April 21, 2021